Morocco is an integral part of Africa, an indivisible whole of Sumer, Pharaoh and founder of Amazigh Civilisation. However, the country has, since the Middle-Ages, focused on Islam as a ‘New Era’ of its Modern History which has partly influenced its culture in religious orientation but not to be confused with being Arab, or belonging to the Arab world which is situated in Asia or worse still to consider Morocco as an Arab country when it is in Africa. Contrary to what some ignorant men, reminiscent of the “illiterate Bedouins” of the early period of Islam try to impose by distorting Morocco’s ethnic and geographical natural origin by calling it “Arab” and referring to it as being within an “Arab Maghreb”; the facts remain that the country is an Amazigh African country within Tamazgha or the Great African Maghreb. These ignorant men living in Morocco, instead of studying the history of their adopted country Morocco in detail, prefer mostly, by ignorance or by design, to talk in general terms by putting all the so-called ‘Arabs’ in one basket and compare the incomparable with their shallow ideas which only confirm their limitation and lack of knowledge. They hardly know Moroccan society or what the Moroccans want or who the Moroccans are in reality.
They are certainly not Arabs as there are no DNA connections as there has never been any such confirmation in any of the Moroccan constitutions either. Recently, the Moroccan foreign Minister, Salaheddine Mezouar, confirmed, in one of the Arab League Conferences, the Amazighity not only of Morocco but also of the Great Tamazgha or the mirage of the Great Maghreb Union, reflecting the 2011 Moroccan Amazigh Constitution. He rejected any such entity as a ‘Union du Maghreb Arab’ but the Great Maghreb, dropping the word Arab as Morocco is not constitutionally or ethnically Arab and nor is, for that matter, the Maghreb or North Africa as a whole, from Mauritania to Egypt. The use of Arabic does not make Morocco an Arab country just as Senegal and other West African countries, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, Morocco and others who use French in their business and administration make them French and none of them claim or are considered as French nationals. The 2011 Constitution is very clear when it set the foundation to correct history and after 5 years of delays and cunnings by these ignorant men, the Council of Ministers was forced to meet on 3 August 2016 and agree to carry out its obligation before the end of the last session of this Parliament, as required by article 5 of the Constitution, marking thus the beginning of the end of the dominance of the Arabic language in Morocco, when it is already relegated to second rate language by Bel Mokhtar 2016 Reform putting French first. It also puts an end to any pretention to making Morocco an Arab country other than consolidating and strengthening its Amazighness, rejecting totally and once and for all any affiliation to Arabic, be it the language, culture or ethnicity. This, however, should not affect normal and even exceptionally strong relations with the Arabs in the interests of all, just as Morocco has strong relations with France, Spain, the USA and others.
There is nothing that the Moroccans have in common or share with the Arabsi, even in Islam, but more with Franceii and the West from at least the VIIIth century, if not since Hannibal, when Morocco set up the first Nation-State in the World and also was the first nation-state in the world to recognise American Independence when it signed a Treaty of Friendship with the United Stated in 1786 which was ratified by the Confederation Congress in July 1787 and remains active to the presentiii. During this period the Arabs did not exist as they were under their masters, the Ottoman Empire, who reduced them to slavery and ignorance. In fact, Morocco rejected Mashreq Islam from the beginning when Kusaila killed Uqba Ibn Nafi’e and the country opted for a new type of Islam since the Berghouata created their own Coran in their own Amazigh language and thus adopting their own brand of Islam revaluing their customs, ways of life but also the ‘singularity’ or ‘ambiguity’ of combining Sunna and Shia. This was evident by the appointments of some Imams of Morocco as the case with Zaydi Shi’a Imam Idris under the Awraba and Berghouata Dynasties, but opposed by the powerful Kingdom of Nekor who dominated Morocco and dwarfed all other pretenders including the insignificant Shi’a Awraba-Idris existential alliance which never was other than the wishful thinking of these ignorant men who have been trying to make of him, through creative ‘hagiography’ accounts used by defunct Ulama from the early period of Islam to massage event including the fitnah to gain their lost privileges and power, a great hero. The arrival of the Almoravids in the XIth century marked the beginning of the pulverisation of the Arabs and the end of any Arab influence in Morocco leading to the extermination or present jargon of “ethnic cleansing” of the Shi’a Zaydi-Fatimid Idrissid by the Almohads. This concept of Moroccan Islam was later extended and adopted by other Amazigh ‘Tafilalt Alaoui Imams’ since the XVIIth century reconciling the concepts of the Iranian Shia Imamate but follow Sunna and Ash’ari as dictated by the Amazigh Empire who put an end to the Shi’a Zaydi in Morocco, but unfortunately for them, neglected Maturidi’s teaching, as they did ignore the rationality of Farabi, Avicenna, Averroes and others. This Moroccan brand of Islam is completely an Amazigh invention and remained solid throughout Moroccan history to the present. It kept all other pretenders out of the contaminations that started to spread around the world in the second part of the XXth century. Shi’a, Muslim Brotherhoods, Wahhabi Salafists and others tried to get a foothold to disturb Moroccan harmony and peaceful existence, but all failed. From a historical point of view, the Moroccans opted for their own interpretation, amongst the thousands that exist, of the Prophet’s “peaceful original Islam”, if one can consider Six years war between Mecca and Medina led by the Prophet and the assassination of three of the four Rashidun after his death, leading to fitnah and “the war of all, against all”, as peaceful. This early period of history has been subjected to as many interpretations as there are Muslims, but Morocco managed to live its own peaceful Islam even though the ‘Evils’ of the Mashreq never stopped threatening its peaceful existence. The success of Moroccan Islam was a result of its organisation and the efforts of the Almohads who imposed their Islam with impunity and set certain rules to safeguard their faith. This resulted in the Imazighen School of ‘Moroccan Islam’ that contributed and inspired the creation of their own ‘Ulama High Authority’; the latest was institutionalised in 1981 and consolidated further the “Emirate of the Faithful” combining the Shia rules for Imamate and the Sunna Malekit with Ash’ari and Sufism that the Shia and the Wahhabi Salafists reject. This Moroccan dual system was invested in one institution which was reviewed several times and now recognised as the only authority that decides on Fatwas and all issues that are related to Sunni-Malekit-Sufi-Ash’ari Moroccan Islam but accountable to the ‘Amir el Mouminine’. It was further consolidated in Morocco under Mohammed VI with the collaboration of the great Amazigh scholar and Minister of Habous, Ahmed Tawfiq, giving it a new direction under a “High Council of Moroccan Amazigh Ulama” in 2004 which was followed later by the creation of “Mohammed VI Foundation” as the “High Council of African Ulama”. This foundation follows the teaching of the Great Sufi Abdeslam Serghini who taught the late Mohammed V as well as a mediocre Alem with the name of Allal el Fassi. The latter turned sour when he embraced salafism and courted Muslim Brotherhood teachings during his stay in Egypt, running away from colonialist repression and exaggerating his nationalism far from Moroccan troubles, savouring the life, the safety and comforts the night life Egypt offered in abundance, as described by Hassan el Banna. This new African Institution was inaugurated by the Commander of the Faithful and chaired by the Amazigh Dr Ahmed Tawfiq at the Amazigh refurbished Quarawiyine University and the Centre of African Pilgrim to Tijania Sufi shrines in Fes, on 14 June 2016. The Commander of the Faithful, as its supreme Imam, has appointed its Members from 31 African countries including Morocco, making this High Authority as well as that of Morocco, the only Bodies that can decide on Fatwas and all issues relevant to Malekit-Asharya-Islam, as the case for the Shia in Qom, Iran or the Vatican for the Christians in Rome, a novel hierarchy and the FIRST of its kind in Sunni Islam. The Iranians and many Muslims have been calling for many years for the “Vaticanisation” of hajj and to be controlled by an International Independent Muslim body in line with the Vatican. It is hoped that this initiative would spill over to other Schools like Hanafi’s Cairo and Baghdad, with its own High Authority for its Sunnis and also Egypt’s more moderate Shafi’i School confirming El Azhar as the sole Authority on Sunni Islam of Egypt until such time when a ‘Unified High Authority’ governing all Muslims would see the day to speak and represent proudly a united Islamic Uma in line with the principle of the Vatican representing all Christians. Morocco is able to consolidate and control its historical Imamate, directly or indirectly at home, in Tamazgha that includes North Africa and West Africa, Black Sunni-Malekit-Sufi of Africa, Europe and the USA. Because of this historical reality that the Arabs, the Europeans and the Americans failed to destabilise the country in spite of the support, the finance and the promotion of terrorist organisations, from Sykes-Picot to Baghdadi, they promoted to achieve their goals. They failed to destabilise the country as the case in Algeria, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, even Tunisia, Mali, Chad, Nigeria and many more Muslim failed states that also include Eritrea, Somalia and the division of the Sudan. Morocco, a well-rooted Amazigh nation-state for centuries, remained steadfast and became the model to influence many countries to adopt its Malekit-Ash’ari Islam. As for the Wahhabi School, it is another affair as it has already deviated from Ibn Hanbal and lacks any legitimacy the other three Schools still enjoy. The High Council of Moroccan Imams officially rejects also Shia as well as all other schools that do not conform to the Moroccan brand of Islam including Salafi Wahhabi, putting thus a tacit end to the principles agreed on the ad hoc ‘Four Schools’ of convenience and appeasement that emerged between the VIIIth and IXth centuries. Furthermore, after Morocco’s announcement early in 2016, the Grozny Islamic Conference excluded Salafist Wahhabism of Saudi Arabia and Qatar from Sunnism and confirmed El Azhar in Egypt, el Quarawiyine in Morocco, Zaytouna in Tunisia and Hadramout in Yemen, as the most reliable and tolerant Sunni institutions to consider as a reference for the teaching and guidance on moderate Islamiv.
In fact, from the death of the Prophet, the Arabs of Hijaz and Nejd to Ibn Saud, have all opted for violence, division and revolutionary Islam plagued by Salafism idealism since the crucifixion of Hallaj and the persecution of rationalists like Farabi, Avicenna or Averroes by virulent attacks on them by obscurantists championed by Sufi Abu Hamid el Ghazali’s attack on Avicenna’s Aristotelian philosophy, to Salafist Ibn Taymiyya and his disciples like al Qayyim, Ismail Ibn Kathir and Adh-Dhahabiy and to add to the confusion or to the schizophrenia of Muslim divisions as they are contradictory and therefore, they are no friends of Ghazali either. The Saudis have become more interested in power than faith and never represented the peaceful Islam the Prophet was hoping for but never achieved, or succeeded at uniting the Uma. In fact, they became divisive and divided before even the burial of the Prophet took place (or his feet completely cooled, as the Arab saying) and soon after moved their fights to Baghdad, Damascus, Cairo and Moroccov. Morocco, from the first encounter between Kusaila and Uqba Ibn Nafi’e, rejected Mashreq Islam, its culture and evolving civilisation which the Imazighen considered backward and lacking the Amazigh finesse of one of the oldest civilisations at the time. Whether certain ignorant Moroccans like it or not, whether the Arabs of Hijaz admit it or not, whether the Europeans approve it or not, Morocco became part of Europe, discounting “out of Africa”, from the time the Amazigh became part of the Roman Empire or when Hannibal crossed with his elephants through the Pillars of Hercules in Tangier to Iberia and Europe to go full circle around the Mediterranean to threaten Rome itself, centuries before Sarkozy could come up with his “Union for the Mediterranean (UpM)” concept.
It was Tariq Ibn Ziyad who first consolidated Moroccan affiliation to Europe when he set foot on this continent and became the Governor General of Iberian Amazigh Europe, or what is generally known as Al Andalus, in 711, and his ancestors are still in great numbers forming part of the backbone of present Spain. He, with Hannibal before him and later with the Amazigh Revolution of 739-43, which established the first Amazigh Nation-State, were responsible for the spreading of the Amazigh cultures and civilisation that the West absorbed and some ignorant orientalists deny even today or enter the world of confusion set by Ernest Renan or Bernard Lewis, just as Ali Benmakhlouf talks in ignorance or negligence confusing what is Islamic and what is Arab, or clarify what is written in Arabic language is not necessarily written by Arabs, and philosophy does not belong to the Arabs but to those who produce it and read it when the Arabs rejected the concept of philosophy and the majority of Muslims sided more with Al Ghazali and Ibn Taymiyya rather than Farabi (non-Arab), Avicenna (non-Arab) or Ibn Ruchd (born in Cordoba and died in Morocco), when he writes that “Arab philosophy excelled between the VIIIth and XVth century” when he should have said Islamic Philosophy or Farsi, Amazigh, Jewish and others. He should have conceded that there was very little input from the Arabs but the bulk was produced by the Great Andalusian Amazigh, Iberian Christians and Jews, Moriscos philosophers and others who all wrote in Arabic but were never Arabsvi. These ignorant and confused men are no dissimilar to some ignorant illiterate ‘Machreqiyine’ and confused men of Morocco who cannot even distinguish what is Moroccan and what is ‘Arab’, and visiting Saudis will never accept that Moroccans speak Arabic but some gibberish Darija and Moroccans feel the same about the language of Hijaz. More often than not Foreigners who studied Arabic at European and Mashreq Universities would communicate in English or French when visiting Morocco, as the Moroccan Darija is foreign to them as is their standard Arabic to the ordinary Moroccan citizenvii. These ‘Moroccan’ ignorant men are masters of deceit and confusion, lacking insight and rigour in their studies and rely more on memory, like memorising the Surats from the Coran, embark on generalities and producing mediocrity, ignorance and chaos imposing their ideas on the gullible bleating and repeating verbatim what ‘Abu Huraira’, ‘Imam Bukhari’ or others said, but adding nothing to knowledge or give any satisfying and convincing arguments to an open and trained mind of the XXIst century…. It is inconceivable to compare Moroccan politics, literature and philosophy (the latter was banned by these ignorant men in Morocco) and all the social studies that are required to understand a society in a general, and transpose it with the Mashreq, just as what goes on in France is not the same with what goes on in the UK or the rest of the world. Moroccan studies apply only to the various parts that make the sum total of the country, if to achieve the understanding that is accepted as research, as it becomes unconceivable to compare a Saudi woman with a Moroccan woman accepting a male chaperon to drive her car or not to speak in public, parliament or do anything that the Moroccan male can do; ‘what’s good for the goose, is good for the gander’ or the reverse and ‘whatever you can do, I can do better’. It is also the study of its rural areas and social divisions, rich of cultures and heritage that make the sum total of the country that distinguishes Morocco as unique and far distant from the Mashreq as Moroccan performing ‘Sheikhat’ in public would be an aberration in Saudi Arabia, but highly prized by the Saudis visiting Morocco. For this reason that these ignorant men have failed to convince because there are different cultures in the Mashreq, the East or the West: each country with its specificity and not a general stereotype of opinions and prejudices held to justify one’s vanity and ambition. Furthermore, the leadership of Tarik Ibn Ziyad set the foundation for the Amazigh Empire and established the examples the Moroccan Imazighen should follow since they secured their independence from the Arab Kalifate, the source of all evils in Islam, according to Ash’ariviii, and ever since looked more North than East. The Sham (or the historical shame) was practically an unknown region to the masses of the Moroccans, outside the route to Hajj for a handful of pilgrims, before the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the early XXth century. Nevertheless, Islam succeeded to some extent to fall in the same ditch of ignorance Christianity found itself in by reducing the world history to the teaching of humanity to the origin of the incestuous children of Adam and Eve to be passed on to Abraham, who never was, for the Jews, the conflicting unicity of Jesus Christ forming the undisputed truth for Christians in spite of or because of its Trinity, and the Word of Mohammed benefitting from the previous two, particularly Abraham’s son, Ismael, and largely from local paganism that dominated Hijaz, all reverberating in the thousands of interpretations of His so-called “Actions” or “Sunnah” by his power-seekers companions and successors for the Muslims. These different revelations were presented, as if the world has not existed, in its various forms, for millions of years even before the apparition of the homo erectus to homo sapiens and to the cannibal European Neanderthal man, to the “Out of Africa” theory as opposed to the “Out of Asia” theory culminating into Darwin’s natural selection theory he developed, or Dawkins evolution by natural selection as explained in his writings summarised in one of his articles as, “Genes that program embryos to develop into adult who can successfully reproduce automatically survive in the gene pool, at the expense of genes that fail”ix; ideas or theories that dominate in the XXIst century, forgetting that death marks the natural end or: ‘dust to dust to the eternal dust of the Big Bang’.
Ben Kirat PhD
Journalist/Consultant - Oxford Consultancy International
Dr. Ben Kirat was educated at Oxford and Nottingham Universities, holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from Westminster College Oxford, an M.A in French Studies and a PhD in International Relations from Nottingham University. He was a Senior Lecturer at Northumbria University and M.A Supervisor in French Studies and held other post as Head of Department, Director of Studies and Marketing Manager in Colleges in Oxford and Europe. He held similar post in Europe and was a Visiting Professor at Marbella University, Spain, teaching International Relations and International Negotiation Theories, Communications, Population, Psychology, Philosophy and Social Science to MBA students. He has also been working as a freelance Journalist and an International Consultant for over 30 years, specializing in European-US affairs, Africa, the Maghreb Amazigh and the Middle East.